Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 12 February 2019

SSC CGL Current Affairs


Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 12 February 2019


::NATIONAL::

PM affirms grant of citizenship only after investigation and recommendation from states

  •  Prime Minister NarendraModi today assured the people of Assam and the North East that the Citizenship Amendment Bill will in no way cause harm to their interest. Mr Modi was addressing a public rally at Changsari in Assam.
  •  He said, citizenship will be only granted after due investigation and recommendation of the state governments. The Prime Minister asserted that his government is committed to provide shelter to those who are minorities in neighbouring countries and had to leave due to the atrocities inflicted on them.
  •  Mr Modi also said, the NDA government is committed to implement the 36-year old Assam Accord within the stipulated time. He said, he would not allow anyone to destroy Assam for vote bank politics and only his government would fulfill the Assam Accord.
  •  Mr Modi also laid foundation stones of several projects, including a six lane and 1600 meter long bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting Guwahati to North Guwahati. He also laid foundation stone of North East Gas Grid which will ensure uninterrupted availability of natural gas across the region and boost industrial growth.

::ECONOMY::

SEBI to lookinto allegations on sale of pledged shares

  •  Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is looking into allegations and counter-allegations related to the sale of pledged shares of the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group’s three listed firms by two lenders, senior officials said on Monday.
  •  Reliance Group has accused L&T Finance and Edelweiss Group entities of “illegal” and “motivated” actions in invoking the pledged shares of Anil Ambani group firms and selling them in open market causing a steep fall in share values.
  •  L&T Finance and Edelweiss Group have refuted the allegations and have counter-alleged that Reliance Group failed to make timely payments, which, they said, necessitated the sale of pledged shares.
  •  Officials said the regulator had asked the exchanges to look into the trade details and seek clarifications from the entities concerned regarding open market sale of shares to ascertain whether any norms were breached in the process.
  •  The regulator would subsequently examine whether there was any violation of regulations relating to insider trading and disclosure norms, the officials said.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India-Norway marine pollution combat initiative launched

  •  The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change today signed a letter of Intent establishing the India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative together with the Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  •  In January, 2019, the Indian and Norwegian governments agreed to work more closely on oceans by signing a MoU and establishing the India-Norway Ocean Dialogue during the Norwegian Prime Minister’s visit to India in January.
  •  A joint Task Force on Blue Economy with government officials, researchers and experts as well as private sector was established to develop sustainable solutions within strategic areas of the blue economy, such as maritime and marine sector in addition to energy sector.
  •  In partnership, Norway and India will share experiences and competence, and collaborate on efforts to develop clean and healthy oceans, sustainable use of ocean resources and growth in the blue economy.
  •  Both the governments launched the first Joint initiative under this new partnership. The India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative will combat marine pollution, which is one of the fastest growing environmental concerns.

UN secretary general offers help to solve Venezuelan crisis

  •  United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has renewed his offer to help broker an end to the crisis in Venezuela during talks with Venezuela Foreign Minister,JorgeArreaza in New York yesterday as the standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido hardened.
  •  The United Nations has called for serious political negotiations between the two sides to prevent a slide towards more violence in the South American country.
  •  Guaido declared himself interim president last month and has since been recognised by some 50 countries including the United States. Russia and China, however, continue to back Maduro as do some African countries, creating a global split that has left the UN in a quandary.
  •  Venezuela is in the midst of a disastrous economic crisis marked by hyperinflation, recession and dire shortages of food and medicines. The opposition blames Maduro for the meltdown, accusing him of corruption and of rigging elections to stay in power.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Study discovers plant’s ability to remove lead from soil

  • Researchers from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala have identified a native roadside plant that can take up lead from the soil and thus help in removing the metal from the environment.
  • The plant was found to accumulate lead at about 12,000 microgram/g of dry weight in the root and 7,000 microgram/g of dry weight in its shoot.
  • Among the hundreds of native plants screened, research done earlier by the group shortlisted three plants. The present study found that Ecliptaprostrata had the highest lead tolerance.
  • Hi-tech microscopic analysis showed that the lead travelled to the leaves and was deposited as lead nanoparticles in its cell wall, cytoplasm, and chloroplast. Though we noticed a little distortion in the structure of these organelles no toxicity was seen,” explains Chandana Chandrasekhar, a scientist.
  • This study has provided evidence that the plant is a lead hyperaccumulator that has the suitable biochemical machinery. But as the present experiment was carried out using a soluble salt of lead (lead nitrate), more studies are needed in contaminated environments where lead is usually found in insoluble forms.
  • Such experiments using naturally contaminated soils are significant further steps in using the plant for bioremediation of lead-contaminated soil.

::SPORTS::

Australia rejects ODI’s in Pakistan due to security reasons

  •  Australia have refused to play any of the five One Day International matches in Pakistan due to security concerns and the two teams will now compete in the World Cup preparatory series in the UAE.
  •  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced that the series will be played entirely in UAE from 22nd to 31st of next month as the Aussies have refused to play in Karachi. Sharjah will host the first two matches on 22nd and 24th of next month, followed by Abu Dhabi on 27th and Dubai on 29th and 31st.
  •  PCB had invited Australia to play two of the five ODIs to further their attempts to revive international cricket at home. International cricket was suspended in the country after an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

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